Designer-inventor Aron James Clarkson of the StarOne Group divulges information about the patented Drop-Top Dispensing closure technology.
What advantages do you see for this dispensing closure technology?
The Drop-Top dispensing closure will revolutionize how products will be packaged and consumed in the future. It will revolutionize the way many industries can package certain products, contribute extensively to current products and make possible the packaging of new products in ways that current technology does not. Particularly in the reconstitution of powder and liquids, there are very real gains in reduction of user or operator error, storage and stability with extended shelf life, security proof features and reduced contamination profiles.
This technology that provides total solutions for packaging a wide array of sensitive products that are unstable in solution in beverage, food, personal care, pharmaceutical and chemical products.
Please provide some details on how it works.
The invention is a newly patented revolutionary container closure with a delivery system that features an internal multi-cavity design that can store up to three separate accurate doses of ingredients. Liquids, powders, gases, granules or tablets can be stored completely separate from air and liquid, and delivered right before consumption or use. It has been developed to increase the shelf life of many products that are not stable in oxygen or aqueous solutions.
This dispensing technology allows for the storage of highly sensitive products that cannot have any contact with the environment and need to be kept completely separate from other ingredients by sealing them until the closure is activated.
• Beverages: water, sports drinks, fortified beverages, beer, spirits, wine, dairy and other convenience drinks.
• Food: baby formula, salad dressings, sauces and many other types of condiments.
• Personal Care: hair coloring, cosmetics, sensitive treatments for the skin, hair and body that are used in the beauty industry.
• Pharmaceutical: aspirin, vitamins, vaccines, cytotoxic medicines and other products to deliver zero operator error under sterile conditions.
• Chemical: products that cannot be mixed together until the time of use including two-part resins, glues which activate with catalysts, agricultural including pesticides, fluids cleaning acids, household detergents, and automotive oils.
What about the different functions and number of chambers that can be used?
We have a number of dispensing technologies available for beverages - you can now release three different items into a liquid. For instance coffee, sugar and a creamer for an instant fresh coffee drink. Each time you twist, it releases and delivers another ingredient into the beverage.
But the big one for me is baby formula. Particularly in countries where water quality is suspect, parents will be able to buy a product that is ready to mix on the spot without any chance of contamination. I am sure just as vitamins in everyday beverages are here to stay, so will baby formula dispense innovation as it will go mainstream as well.
We have also developed a sipper cap with a variable valve providing four different flow rates for babies of varying ages; from a trickle for newborns to a fast flow for toddlers and this can be used for all kinds of other beverages as well.
How long has the Drop-Top Dispensing Closure been in development and how easy was it to achieve?
It has been extremely challenging. We failed at the start as it is complex to totally protect a functional product such as probiotics or vitamins in the dispensing chamber from many of the destructive elements such as moisture or oxygen that degrades them thus making them worthless. It has taken more than 15 years of intensive research and a great deal of investment to get there.
How does it compare to other closures on the market?
I do not think there is any other dispensing closure technology you really can compare it to. There are a number of dispensing closures trying to come to market, but we have already researched all of these ways in developing the Drop-Top technology and have found none of the ones seen up to date actually work. It is impossible to keep sensitive products for any length of time. In fact, we have a number of patents on file that we invented along the way and did not pursue as all of these other ways simply do not work. What makes this novel is you have a very small window of opportunity to create technology that does work and with that technology we have 9 different systems patented in more than 40 countries around the world in the way it does work.
What can you comment about products' shelf life?
Unlike other closures, we are able to guarantee the life of the product in the chamber of the closure for the two-year shelf life--the standard use-by-date--and indeed much longer.
Our invention has a U.S. patent with many more international patents which have been accepted around the world. Most of these competing products trying to come to market do not have patents accepted and unfortunately they infringe on existing prior art, some of it being ours. We also have nine different systems patented, plus other ones in the pipeline which I cannot reveal at this stage.
How have you achieved protection for the ingredients in the closure?
We have a number of ways that we use to achieve this. One aspect is in the sealing foil which is pierced when the closure is twisted. We even vacuum seal the chamber to ensure complete product integrity and we also use our own proprietorial coatings to protect the ingredients inside the chamber. With other types of ingredients we use a very sophisticated patented oxygen scavenger technology and for extremely sensitive and active ingredients we encase the dispensed products in a foil liner. This has taken a lot of development over many years and we believe that what we have is undoubtedly the best available today for value as it is very low cost to manufacture and keeps products fresh indefinitely.
What final thoughts do you have?
We are currently looking for a multinational company to purchase the Drop-Top technology worldwide. To learn more, you can see a video of the system working on www.thedroptop.com and use the password TDT56789.
For more information on this article contact: [email protected]
Source: StarOne Group